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Taiwan threatens to cancel Japan exhibition over naming row (update)

2014/06/20 15:13:48

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) Taiwan on Friday threatened to cancel a planned exhibition of the National Palace Museum's (NPM) collections in Japan over posters said to undermine Taiwan's dignity by omitting the word "national."

If the exhibition is canceled over the posters, first lady Chow Mei-ching will call off her planned visit to Japan for the opening, Presidential Office spokesman Ma Wei-kuo said Friday.

An afternoon press conference in Tokyo held to officially announce the exhibition due to open June 24 was put off as Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with the Japanese side in an effort to resolve the issue.

The selected artifacts from the NPM are set to be put on display under the title "Treasured Masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei" at the Tokyo museum from June 24 to Sept. 15, and at the Kyushu National Museum from Oct. 7 to Nov. 30.

Controversy erupted when some posters advertising the exhibition were found to refer to the NPM as simply "Palace Museum, Taipei" an apparent violation of the agreement between Taiwan and Japan that the museum's full name must be used in all publicity materials.

According to the Presidential Office, President Ma Ying-jeou has instructed the NPM to demand the Tokyo museum correct the situation, and the government's stance has been conveyed to Tokyo by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The president said that "National Palace Museum" is the museum's only official name and that the government will not accept any names that undermine the country's dignity.

NPM spokesman Chin Shih-hsien said there is "no room for negotiation" on the naming issue.

If Japan cannot meet Taiwan's demands, the exhibition will be canceled, Chin said. The Taiwan side has set a deadline of 11p.m., Saturday (midnight in Tokyo) for the issue to be resolved.

The posters in question, which have been spotted at train stations and parks in Tokyo, were prepared by a media sponsor group comprising major media outlets including NHK, the Asahi Shimbun and other TV stations and newspapers.

However, the official posters and brochures prepared by the Tokyo National Museum itself refer to the museum by its proper name of "National Palace Museum."

(By Claudia Liu, Sabine Cheng and Y.F. Low)

●June 23: NPM collection exhibition opens in style despite poster glitch
●June 20: Tokyo National Museum says it takes responsibility over name row

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Related stories:
●June 20: Tokyo press event on NPM collection canceled in wake of name row
●June 20: Foreign Ministry protests over National Palace Museum naming row